Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: December 6, 2016
Challenges: NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
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Blurb from goodreads:
Days before Christmas, CIA agent Amber Starke is on the run with her murdered best friend's special-needs son. And they're next on his criminal father's hit list. Amber failed her undercover mission to bring down her friend's husband for his crimes, but she won't fail to protect her friend's son. Now that the killer knows she's not just a nanny but an agent, she must rely on her childhood crush, Deputy Lance Goode. The handsome lawman was burned in love by his first wife, who was killed while evading the law. But he'll do everything he can to help Amber, except offer his heart. Unlocking the secrets in Amber's autistic charge is the key to their survival, but with the killer on their trail, one mistake could cost them their lives.
I'm a sucker for police and military stories and children in stories don't bother me like they do some readers. So, I was hopeful for this story. The author is new to me but the blurb was promising. Sadly, it was just okay. I seem to be in the minority though as over on goodreads it has lots of 4 and 5 star ratings. Ah well.
I don't know much about the CIA, mainly what I read in books and see in movies but much of Amber's story and actions struck me as implausible and I questioned just how competent she really was. There were a few surprises and the story was moderately suspenseful but certainly not as thrilling or nail-biting as it could have been. The portrayal of a child with autism was fairly well-done, if slightly stereotypical.
The romance was was the strongest part of the story. There were sparks between Amber and Lance and they meshed well together. They knew each other growing up and the sparks had been there for years. Since this part of a series, there were references to events in previous books but that didn't slow down the story for me, it worked as a stand alone. And with a history between, the romance moving as quickly as it did was believable. They already knew each other, had been friends, so they had a foundation. I wanted a happy ending for them, and for the boy, Sam.
This is an inspirational title so there's talk of the Christian God and accepting Christ as the savior but it wasn't heavy-handed and it fit smoothly into the story.
While I didn't love the story, I'm intrigued enough to read more in the series if I have the chance.